A small reactor appears that can be operated safely by natural cooling even if power is lost by 'passive cooling'

In the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011, the TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station suffered a 10-meter-high tsunami, and power supplies including emergency use were destroyed and reactor cooling could not be completed. Reached the meltdown (core melting) . Along with the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident , it became a major accident of the International Nuclear Event Scale “Level 7” . In order to prevent such accidents, small nuclear reactors are being developed that can be operated safely with only natural cooling even when power is lost.

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The company that develops small reactors is NuScale Power . The construction schedule will be cut in half by constructing 12 modular reactors and connecting them later instead of building one large reactor.

Also, by incorporating a “passive cooling” design that does not rely on pumps or generators that may fail in an emergency, and installing the reactor in a containment in the underground pool, even in the absence of an operator or power loss It seems that the safe state is maintained.

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Small nuclear reactors also have the advantage of not having to operate all the time like large nuclear reactors. It can be operated and shut down in a relatively short time, and each reactor has fuel enough to operate for up to 2 years, so it is expressed as 'like a battery that can be used for 2 years without charging'. You

In the United States, the construction of nuclear reactors requires NRA certification, but NuScale Power passed the phase 1 review in April 2018. It plans to build and operate the first power plant in 2026.

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However, 'NuScale Power does not have to meet the same standards as large reactors, because NuScale Power is safe,' said Edwin Ryman, a nuclear expert who belongs to the scientist 's nonprofit organization 'The Concerned Scientists Alliance '. I believe that, 'he said. We claim that problems can occur with 'passive cooling' designs.

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